At one time or another they've tried to make EV-REE-THING frightening enough to turn into a scare the britches off your bottom terror picture. I heard Elvis say that once, "terror picture", love it! Anything that walked, swam, crawled, creeped, leaped, looked remarkably like Robin Williams, or even breathed oxygen was formulated into an antagonist in many a drive-in worthy fright show. You got your crazed people eating animals, crazed people eating people, masked madman on the loose from what does that even matter, oversized insects, plant people with moldy faces from all kinds of outer spaces, killer cars, killer trucks, killer appliances, alien creatures, critters, humanoids from beyond wherever, eco-terror, high winds, hard rains, poor weather all around, and even oxygen itself doing people in in the most creative of ways all for the sake of good old drive-in entertainment. Now some of these premises work like gangbusters. The giant radioactive ants in Them? Heck yeah! Some coal miner whackadoo in a gas mask running around with a pick axe on Valentines Day? I've seen it forty times and I'll see it again. Human assimilating space virus action set in Antarctica? Still one of greatest movies ever made! A lot of the ideas were and still are right on the moola with what would make a great drive-in freak you out film er.. terror picture.
Not so high on the idea list of things to try and make effectively scary or even interesting you might find a 21 year old retarded guy who's kept in an oversize crib like a baby so he can toss around his Duplos, go geeegy gooey ga geee, fill his diaper a few times, chew the buttons off his baby sitters shirt and look like the member of the Monkees who didn't make the cut because he only played the rubber band between his teeth. Come on now! Do ideas for a scary movie get much worse? I mean I'd love to have sat in on the pitch meeting for this thing. "We wanna put a drooly mop haired manchild in a crib and have a vibrant curvaceous social worker express a little too much interest in'em!" Now this is where someone chomping a cigar should have said "GET OUT!" Thankfully they didn't because even though it is a lame terrible awful idea, the movie completely and totally works.
The Baby released in 1973, centers around "Baby" the already described man-tard and the social worker played by Anjanette Comer that takes his case and thus has to meet his family, the perfectly creepy Wadsworths. Momma Wadsworth and his two eye pie pretty damn hot for the 70's sisters. Beside the fact that they have a 21 year old guy upstairs wearing Huggies and fondling his babysitter's cash and prizes when no one's looking, the Wadsworth women are two tons of eeriness in their own right. Chain puffin' gruff talkin' Momma seems to hate everyone who's not Baby or a member of the Hells Angels. Sister #1 seems to hate everyone that's not Baby and she proves this by getting buck starkers in the middle of the night and climbing all over him while he's in his crib dreaming about strained carrots. Sister #2 looks like the one the Brady Bunch kept locked in the attic and she hates everyone INCLUDING Baby! So much that she attacks him with a CATTLE PROD when he gets on her bad side for wanting to play "ball ball". This friggin' family is icky bingo and THAT is what makes this movie go! They are that family that you just aren't sure about, there's one in every neighborhood and when you peel away the rhine and get a good look at 'em you start getting the heebie jeebies. Once the social worker is introduced tensions mount faster than a rabbit in the springtime. The Wadsworth wackos clearly loathe her and her interest in Baby DOES seem a little pedo bear dubious. What keeps this movie taught and together are all the twists in each of the characters interactions. So well done that you really start to wonder WHO the good people even are in this movie. Now as I've told anyone who ever reads this blog before, I kinda watch these movies so, for the most part, you don't have to. Or maybe you've seen'em before and just wanna see what some idiot other than yourself thinks of 'em. The Baby is absolutely one worth checking out but if you reaallly don't feel like it... here goes. The good people in this movie? THERE ARE NONE. Baby's momma and sisters are plum psychos! The social worker who cares sooooo much about the case and Baby's welfare? Well she's wrapped about as tight as a mummy in a hurricane! Her and her also crackers mother-in-law have formulated a nefarious plot back in reel one that we aren't allowed to fully realize until the final 30 seconds before the credits roll. What starts and builds very slowly as a quirky unsettling tale about an odd as a cod matriarch and her just as nutty kids fast unravels into a drugged, baby napping, back stabbing, neck slitting, leg breaking, axe whacking, shovel beating, burying bodies ALIVE fiasco all in the name of a new swimming buddy. See I still can't in good conscience give EVERYTHING away about this movie. It's a sicilian thick slice of well done weird and you really need to see it for yourselves this time. ***
Shock the Monkee! Baby's better lookin' sister teaches him a thing or two about a thing or two.